[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author Rochelle B. Weinstein guest posting on the site today. She’s talking all things tearjerkers!]
What is it about tear-jerkers that make us, well, tear up? With themes of love and loss thread through my novels, I’m often asked how and why I write Kleenex-driven fiction. I’m not as sad or broken as the characters in my books. So why write like one?
Like many of us, I have experienced loss. Loss stretches across a range of life circumstances, and to quantify individual grief is impossible. But feelings are real. When a writer taps into deep-seated emotion, she provides readers with an opportunity to explore their hidden truths, to see themselves both real and raw. This vulnerability touches upon a range of beautiful and terrifying emotions, our deepest wishes, most nostalgic memories. When an author feels, her readers feel too.
As both a reader and a writer, I require a wide range of emotions from my characters. I want to ride along, not beside, but within. A good writer knows when they’ve accomplished that task. As I sit down to write each new novel, my aim is to take readers on a heartfelt, cathartic journey. To leave them a little richer, wiser, and self-aware. It is no wonder my preferred films, books, and songs are the ones that evoke similar emotions, moving me to tears. Here are some of my favorites:
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale: Hachi’s love for his master stayed with me for weeks. A relentless, enviable loyalty.
The Pursuit of Happyness: One father’s relentless pursuit to provide stability for his child.
Life is Beautiful: Another father’s attempt to protect his child from the horrors of the Holocaust.
Terms of Endearment: The raw vulnerability of losing one’s mother.
A Little Lifeby Hanya Yanagihara: A remarkable story of four friends bound by history and a tragic suffering.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: The unforgettable tale of sisters, loyalty, and love.
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom: Characters that will stay with you long after they’re gone. Strength, courage, and resilience abound.
Beautiful Boy by David Sheff: Heart-wrenching memoir of a father’s journey through his son’s drug addiction. Unconditional love.
Annie’s Song by John Denver: A song that always reminds me of my beautiful mother.
Pomp & Circumstance: The graduation song. A bittersweet reminder of what we’ve accomplished and where we’re headed.
Phil Collins/Genesis: Nostalgic memories of my youth.
Canon in D, Pachelbel: Because every beautiful love story begins with a walk down the aisle to this one.
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About the Author:
Rochelle B. Weinstein is the USA Today bestselling author of emotionally driven women’s fiction, including Somebody’s Daughter, Where We Fall, The Mourning After, and What We Leave Behind. Rochelle spent her early years in sunny South Florida, always with a book in hand, raised by the likes of Sidney Sheldon and Judy Blume. Upon graduating from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, Rochelle moved to Los Angeles, where she handled advertising and promotions for major film studios and record labels at LA Weekly. After returning to Miami, she continued her passion for entertainment as a music-industry executive at the Box Music Network. When she’s not writing, Rochelle loves to hike, read, and find the world’s best nachos. She is currently working on her sixth novel. Please visit her at rochelleweinstein.com.
This is Not How it Ends by Rochelle B. Weinstein, out now!
When Charlotte and Philip meet, the pair form a deep and instant connection. Soon they’re settled in the Florida Keys with plans to marry. But just as they should be getting closer, Charlotte feels Philip slipping away.
Second-guessing their love is something Charlotte never imagined, but with Philip’s excessive absences, she finds herself yearning for more. When she meets Ben, she ignores the pull, but the supportive single dad is there for her in ways she never knew she desired. Soon Charlotte finds herself torn between the love she thought she wanted and the one she knows she needs.
As a hurricane passes through Islamorada, stunning revelations challenge Charlotte’s loyalties and upend her life. Forced to reexamine the choices she’s made, and has yet to make, Charlotte embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love, and sacrifice—knowing that forgiveness is a gift, and the best-laid plans can change in a heartbeat.